Caitsbooks Reviews The Caged Queen, + a Giveaway

The Caged Queen (Iskari #2) by Kristen Ciccarelli – (Giveaway + Review) – Everyone Must Read This Series!

Overall: 5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4.5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Did someone say enemies-to-friends-to-enemies-to-lovers? This book has all the delicious angst you would expect with that type of relationship at the forefront, but it also has so much more. From beautiful writing to beautifully complex characters, this is not a book, or series, you should miss.

“Once there was a girl who loved the sky almost as much as she loved her sister.”

[ Related: The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli – Review ]

// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Assault, Rape Mention, Sexual Harassment, Animal Abuse, War Themes, Murder //

Release Date: 9/25/2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 400
Premise:

Before I get into the plot of this book, I want to specify: This is not a true sequel. This book doesn’t follow Asha and Torwin, but instead follows Roa after the events of The Last Namsara. Also, you can technically read this book without having read The Last Namsara, but why would you do that when The Last Namsara is so amazing? However, if you plan to read The Last Namsara, please go do that right away because there will be major spoilers for it in this review (but don’t worry- no spoilers for The Caged Queen). Also, if you are interested in reading The Last Namsara, or just want your own copy, keep reading (or just scroll down to the bottom of the page to avoid spoilers) to learn about a giveaway I’m hosting!

Okay, let’s talk plot. Roa and her sister Essie were always together. However, tragedy struck when Essie died in a terrible accident. Years later, Essie’s spirit remains in the form of a hawk, but she grows weaker every year and won’t be able to stay with Roa much longer. Roa is desperate to keep Essie with her, but when she discovers a way to bring her back to life, she must decide how far she is willing to go. To save her sister, Roa must kill the one who should have died in her place, Dax, the new king of Firgaard and Roa’s husband. Roa and Dax may have only gotten married so she could save her people, and he could have the reinforcements he needed for his revolt, but is she capable of killing her new husband, even if he is her enemy?

“What are souls, but stars waiting to be born?”

Read more for all of my thoughts on The Caged Queen, plus information on my giveaway of The Last Namsara!

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caitsbooks.com October Favorites + November TBR

October Favorites + My November TBR – Let’s See How This Goes

If you’ve seen my Updates, Explanations, & Oversharing post, then you can probably guess that October wasn’t my best reading month. And you’d be write. You could probably also guess that November isn’t going so well for me. You’d be right again.

That said, despite some lows, I did read some good books in November, and I have hopes of getting to some more good books this month. So instead of focusing on what I couldn’t get to, or what goals I didn’t make, let’s focus on the things I did enjoy, and the things I’m hoping to enjoy in the future!

Read more to see my favorite books that I read in October, as well as some books I’m dying to read this month!

[ Related: Top 8 Book Releases of November 2019 ]

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Caitsbooks.com Top 8 November 2019 Book Releases

Top 8 Book Releases of November 2019

I’m honestly in shock that it’s already November. Seriously, where did the year go??? My mind is still in 20-gay-teen right now (tbh I’m actually still stuck in 2012) and any time someone mentions that 2020 exists, let alone that it’s only a couple of months away, I fall right into an existential panic.

That said, there is one benefit to how fast the year is going- we are so close to being able to read all of these amazing November releases!! You definitely need to pick up some of these books before the year is over!

Read more for my top 8 most anticipated book releases of November 2019!

[ Related: Updates, Explanations, and Oversharing – Why I Disappeared ]

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updates, explanations, and oversharing - caitsbooks.com

Updates, Explanations, and Oversharing – Why I Disappeared

Hi.

You might have noticed I’ve been a little absent these past few weeks. And by a little, I mean I practically dropped off the face of the Earth. I didn’t want to just go back to my normal posting schedule without an explanation, but I also didn’t want to spend to much time talking about it, so hopefully this post will do.

Basically, I just had the perfect storm awfulness. So much for enjoying spooky season.

My mom got really sick last month. She’s okay- she had an exasperation of a chronic illness she’s had for years, but because of it she has been in a lot of pain. Between school, work, theater, and trying to help her however I can, plus some family stuff that I won’t go into details on, I was very, very busy. However, what really kept me from posting as much as I wanted to, was my mental health.

I try to be as open as possible about my struggles with mental illness. It’s my small way of trying to fight the stigma against it. That said, it’s much easier to be open about it when I’m stable and my mental health is under control. That really hasn’t been the case for the past month or so.

A combination of anxiety, depression, and insomnia really hit me hard, and I lacked pretty much all motivation to do anything. I was getting no sleep (I broke my record for the least amount of sleep I had in a week at 12 hours, which isn’t exactly a positive, but it made sleep-deprived me laugh so I wanted to mention it), having frequent panic attacks, and I felt pretty hopeless. I didn’t even have the motivation or energy to read (I know, sacrilege), let alone write reviews or discussions. I really missed doing it, because this blog brings me so much happiness, but I was just in such a bad place that I couldn’t feel happy about anything.

But look: I’m posting! I’m definitely not completely better. I’m barely even a fraction of a percent better, but I’m not getting worse. I count that as a win!

I can’t promise I’ll be back to my reliable posting schedule immediately- things are still shaky and might be that way for at least a few weeks- but I just want you to know that I haven’t given up on you guys, and I’m still here.

I have some fun things in the works. There were a lot of things I wanted to post in October that I didn’t get the chance to. I still have a half-written draft of my New York Comic Con wrap up that I need to finish up! I also have some fun things up my sleeve for November that I can’t wait to share with you! (Anyone interested in a giveaway? Stay tuned to my blog this week for more details!)

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting my top 8 November 2019 book releases, and I have a couple of reviews that will be up in this next week. I also plan on having my October favorites and November TBR posted this week as well. Expect a post-heavy and fun-filled bookish week from me!

So… yeah. I’m not dead. I’m not yet okay, and I won’t pretend to be, but I’m working on it and I’m getting there. I’m just so grateful for everyone who’s been there for me, and for all of you guys who brighten my day by talking about books and fandoms and all of those things. You are part of the reason I’m fighting so hard to get better.

Thank you.

This is usually where I ask you guys a question, then plug my twitter/insta/etc. I feel like that would be weird here, but I want some semblance of normalcy sooooo…

What are some great things that have happened to you lately? I want to hear how you’ve been doing and what awesome things have brightened your month!






Follow Me: [Bookstagram] [Twitter] [Tumblr] [Goodreads]

Caitsbooks Reviews Twice In A Blue Moon ARC by Christina Lauren - 4.8 stars

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren – Addictive + Adorable (ARC Review)

Overall: 4.8/5 Stars
Characters: 4.5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: Twice In A Blue Moon is cute, heartfelt, and completely captivating. This book will suck you in and never let you go.

“What would you do if you got a second chance with your first love?”

[ Related: 12 Summer Romance Recommendations (6 YA + 6 Adult) ]

// Content Warning: Death (Mention), Racism (Mention) //

Release Date: 10/22/2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Page Count: 368
Premise:
Twice In A Blue Moon follows Tate Jones who is the daughter of one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, but keeps that little fact a closely guarded secret. When she travels to London for vacation, she meets Sam, and falls in love. However, she quickly realizes she put her trust in the wrong man. Fourteen years later, Tate is an up-and-coming actress, excited to be on the set of her first big break. However, that excitement dies pretty quickly when she discovers who wrote the movie.

“I want every wish he ever makes to be for this. A penny in a fountain. The first star. An eyelash. Eleven eleven. Just for one more time.”

Read more for all of my thoughts on Christina Lauren’s newest book!

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The Lightning Thief Broadway Musical Review: Do Broadway reviewers hate teens? Caitsbooks.com

The Lightning Thief Musical – Broadway Reviewers Hate Teens (Review + Rant?)

Alright, I’m not going to pretend I’m not upset here. I spent this morning reading some of the reviews of the Broadway production of “The Lightning Thief Musical” and just found myself really frustrated.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Not everyone likes the same things, and that’s completely fine. However, I noticed a trend in the negative reviews for this show, and I wanted to talk about it (plus give my thoughts on the show as well).

I’ve seen versions of “The Lightning Thief Musical” three times now. I saw the reunion concert after the off-broadway premier in 2017. I saw the off-broadway tour when it came to NY last March. And just last month I saw “The Lightning Thief Musical” in previews on Broadway.

Needless to say, I think I’ve seen it enough to have an opinion on it. And unlike the reviewers who have been trashing it, I’ve also read the source material and seen previous adaptations.

I love this musical. It’s charming, cute, funny, and even able to bring a tear to your eye (don’t talk to me about “Tree on the Hill”- I will cry). It’s very faithful to the books and will make you completely forget about that mess of a movie. That said, “The Lightning Thief” may not be for everyone. The source material is a middle grade book series. It’s target audience is young, and you can tell. However, this story can be just as compelling for adults as long as you go into it with an open mind.

Also, I just want to mention how amazing this cast is. It’s a small cast, with only 7 people. All but 2 of them (Percy and Annabeth) play multiple roles. They embody these characters in a way I never thought could be possible. Each member of the cast is absolutely fantastic. Chris McCarrel (Percy), Kristen Stokes (Annabeth), and Jorrel Javier (Grover) portray the nuances of their characters so well, I honestly can’t imagine anyone else playing them. The rest of the cast is equally stunning, each of them adding so much to the show.

Read more to see me address specific complaints I’ve noticed
(I’m looking at you, New York Times and Theatermania reviews)

[ Related: Preparing Rapunzel & Anastasia for New York Comic Con – Cosplay Check In ]

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Currently Reading: Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

Currently Reading: Into The Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo – A New Six of Crows?

I’ve noticed a trend that I only seem to do Currently Reading posts when I’m in reading slumps…

Yeah, I’ve hit another reading slump.

I actually got myself out of the slump for almost a whole month and a half! It was amazing. Truly. I never felt better.

But we’re back.

So as I suffer through this slump, I wanted to talk about Alexandra Christo’s latest book: Into the Crooked Place. I’m around 100 pages into it, and I already feel the need to talk about it.

Stats

Title: Into the Crooked Place
Series: Into the Crooked Place #1
Author: Alexandra Christo
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan)
Page Count: 384
Release Date: 10/8/2019
Premise: Tavia is a busker, selling illegal magic on the streets until she can afford to get herself out of Creije. Wesley is Creije’s underboss, their closest thing to a gangster. Karam is a fighter, making a deadly name for herself. Saxony is a part of the resistance, who is desperate for revenge. When their world is threatened by a new dark magic, these four outsiders must come together to save their home.

Read more for all of my thoughts and predictions for Into The Crooked Place!

[ Related: Currently Reading: We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal ]

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September Favorites + October TBR

September Favorites + My October TBR!

September was a rough month. The semester started, I picked up more work hours, and I was trying to make two new cosplays for NYCC. That said, I still reached my quota of 10 books! (Barely, but it counts).

Hopefully, things will calm down a little now that the convention is over and the semester is in full swing. Although I did just get cast in a play, so maybe more free time isn’t exactly a realistic goal?

Either way, I wanted to talk about some of my favorite books that helped me survive the insanity that was September, and some of the books I plan to get to this month.

Read more to see my favorite reads of last month, and the books I’m hoping to love in October!

[ Related: August Favorites + My September TBR! ]

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Top 8 October 2019 Book Releases (caitsbooks.com)

Top 8 Book Releases of October 2019!

SPOOKY SEASON IS UPON US!!!!

October is probably my favorite month of the year. The weather is cooler but not cold, the leaves are changing, everything is spooky,

and a whole bunch of good books are being released.

We have a lot of good books coming out this month. Seriously. It’s overwhelming. The scariest thing this Halloween is the size of my TBR. That said, I was able to narrow it down to a few of my absolutely most anticipated that you have to pick up this month!

Read more for 8 of my most anticipated October book releases!

[ Related: 15 September 2019 Book Releases! ]

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Caitsbooks Reviews: The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh (5 Stars)

The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renee Ahdieh – I’m Obsessed, But Not Everyone Will Be (ARC Review)

Overall: 5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: This book is definitely not for everyone, but it was perfect for me. Everything from the characters, the setting, and the plot- it was exactly what I wanted it to be, and more.

“We forget our dreams, but nightmares linger with us evermore.”

[ Related: Smoke In The Sun (Flame In The Mist #2) by Renee Ahdieh (Review) ]

[ The Beautiful Cover ]

“There was no way for us to turn back. The tinder has been collected. The match has been struck.
Only one of us can survive the fires of Hell.”

Release Date: 10/8/2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 448
Premise:
The Beautiful follows Celine as she flees her life in Paris and goes to New Orleans. Staying in the convent, Celine falls in love with the city she’s taken refuge in. But when young girls start being found dead, Celine must delve into the dark underworld of the city to find the murderer.

// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Gun Violence, Torture, Rape Mention, Rape, Murder, Racism, Racist Slurs, Misogyny //

Read more for all of my thoughts on The Beautiful, and why I think it might be divisive!

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